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National’s Dr Shane Reti will have upset all those who claim that since the signing of the treaty it has been all downhill for Maoridom when he reminded us on Newshub that life expectancy for Maori has improved over time from 30 years in 1840 to 73.4 years today. Simple statement of fact. Sure more work has to be done to address the gap that exists between Maori and Pakeha in health outcomes but its not all a one way street. Personal responsibility including diet and exercise has a part to play also.

But he made it clear in the same interview that the success of Maori health providers in dealing with the Covid pandemic was proof positive there was no need for a separate Maori Heath Agency which would be disbanded when National takes over the treasury benches. Clearly his focus is on outcomes unencumbered by ideological driven placebos.

Reti has the ability and nous and coalface experience to be an outstanding Minister of Health.

Those who claim National is soft on co-governance should take note. Three Waters dead in the water; the Maori Health Authority likewise.

Written by The Veteran

May 15, 2022 at 11:24 am


with 5 comments

Including the news that the United Nations Human Rights Council is to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes by Russian troops in the Kyiv area and beyond and then the double whammy that Finland is expected, as early as next week, to formally apply to join NATO with the move supported by both its President and Prime Minister. Sweden is reportedly also considering its options after 200 years of neutrality.

Clearly Putin has miscalculated on many fronts and his chickens are coming home to roost with a vengeance.

One suspects the Kremlin ain’t an overly happy place to be right now.

Written by The Veteran

May 14, 2022 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Russia

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With the news that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on basic human rights and freedoms in Hongkong with the arrest of four trustees of the now defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund for ‘collusion with foreign forces’. Included in the four are Margaret Ng, an internationally respected barrister and 90 year old Cardinal Cardinal Joseph Zen.

Commenting on the arrest of Cardinal Zen in particular, the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten of Barnes, said “The arrest of Cardinal Zen, one of the most important figures in the Catholic Church in Asia and in the Catholic Church’s advocacy for human rights in China and elsewhere, is yet another outrageous example of how the Chinese Communist Party is hellbent on turning Hong Kong into a police state”.

And our response … well, I guess you need to go no further than this comment from Foreign Minister Mahuta made following her meeting with her Australian counterpart when she suggested that “New Zealand needed to maintain and respect China’s particular customs, traditions and values”.

Clearly China has nothing to fear from the NZL government.

Written by The Veteran

May 14, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Posted in China

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Tis said that economists oft resemble accountants minus the personality. Cameron Bagrie certainly fits that mold. That aside I have generally supported his views on the economy.

But I do find it surprising that he should label National’s proposed ditching of the 39% tax rate and the indexation of tax brackets as inflationary while ignoring the effect of the additional six billion dollar spending increase foreshadowed in next weeks budget. $1.6b in peoples hands to save/spend/reduce debt vs $6b of new government spending from a mob whose hallmark is ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ and tell me just which one makes better sense in a country where the government is leveraging off its credit card and refining borrow and hope to new levels.

The government’s investment of $45m plus into the Public Journalism Fund continues to reap dividends for them. Extensive coverage of Bagrie’s view on National’s tax cuts proposal and nary a mention of the effect on inflation of the government’s additional $6b spend up.

Written by The Veteran

May 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm


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Someone much better than I once described Willie Jackson as like Trevor Mallard without the charm … I couldn’t possibly comment but Jackson’s unloading on David Seymour over ACT’s alternative budget shows a Minister under pressure choosing to play the man and not the ball when he attacked Seymour’s Maoriness effectively labeling him as an ‘Uncle Tom’ or a ‘House Nigger’.

Seymour doesn’t need me to defend him but Jackson, as a leader in Labour’s Maori caucus, would be better employed defending his government’s abysmal record in measured outcomes for Maoridom. A record that has seen rents go through the roof; a ballooning of hospital waiting lists for elective surgery; continuing problems in Maori educational achievement and attainment coupled with a rise in truancy; Maori unemployment remaining above the national average in eleven out of twelve of the nations regions (over 10% in the Waikato and 9% or thereabouts in the BOP, Gisborne/Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Northland) and the active fostering of a ‘John Frum’ attitude among certain sections of Maoridom.

Seymour has a right to his views and at least he has put them out there in the public arena for debate ahead of the election. Something Willie your mob never did with Three Waters, He Puapua and the Health restructuring reforms last time round.

And one other thing Willie … Seymour, unlike you, is in Parliament in his own right as an electorate MP. You snuck in the back door as a List only MP first for the Alliance Party (1999-2002) and then for Labour in 2017. Clearly you prefer others to do the hard yards for you. Spot the difference.

Written by The Veteran

May 11, 2022 at 5:14 pm

Posted in NZ Politics

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On ANZAC we were treated to speeches by politicians and other worthies referring to the sacrifices of the servicemen and servicewomen who have served our country along with assurances that they will continue to be remembered and never forgotten. Nice words indeed.

Contrast that with the statement by the Director of VANZ that staffing shortages have meant they have had to prioritize the handling of pension claim requests with priority being afforded (as it should be) to those suffering from terminal conditions. Other claimants are having to wait extended periods to have their claims processed. Claimants who disagree with decisions of VANZ can expect to wait up to a year to have their review of decision request processed. If it is taken to appeal the delay can be longer.

All this against the backdrop of a huge increase in the core public service numbers since Labour came to office. In the last two years alone we saw increases of 8.6% (2000) and 6.9% (2021) in FTEs (full-time equivalents) in the public service boosting their numbers to 61,100.

Clearly VANZ is at the bottom of the heap and close to out the door when it comes to being considered for additional staffing to meet an identified need. On ANZAC Day words are cheep …. by their deeds you shall know ‘them’.

Written by The Veteran

May 7, 2022 at 4:27 pm

Posted in New Zealand, NZ Labour Party

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with 16 comments

I’m not sure this received the media coverage it deserves but I was both amused and saddened (for America and the world) to see Jo Biden ending a speech and say out loud ‘out now I have to take a couple of steps to the right and stand on the blue dot’. A further indication of the cognitive difficulties faced by the 46th President.

Just at what point does the 25th Amendment of the Constitution come into play? Big call I know but Biden is only 16 months into his four year term and much more of this and the question becomes more than moot.

President Harris … now there’s a really scary thought.

Written by The Veteran

May 6, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Posted in US Politics

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with 7 comments

Polls are but a snapshot of history looking backwards. What you look for are trends and you can fairly argue that the trends evident over the last few months are reflected in Roy Morgan and the Newshub Reid polls released earlier this week. If you aggregate the results of those two polls they show National at 39% going up; Labour at 35.85% going down; the Greens at 9.45% and steady (and I have to say I find that surprising); ACT at 8.2% and steady and the Maori Party at 2.25% and edging up.

Putting that altogether and assuming always the Maori Party retains its Waiariki electorate seat and factoring in the wasted vote and it shows a coalition of the centre-left (Labour/Green/Maori Party) fractionally ahead of of the centre-right (National/ACT). Clearly National has more work to do in shaking loose soft Labour support. It will be helped by the close to 50% that see the country moving in the wrong economic direction (vs the 43% that say the government is doing OK) and the 77% that think the government has not done enough to address the cost of living crisis (let alone housing or hospital waiting lists or an education sector going backwards by virtually every metric).

It is a truism that governments tend to lose elections rather than oppositions winning them and while I’m no economist I certainly think that in respect of the cost of living crisis Labour has adopted a ‘off the wall’ solution of trying to spend its way out of inflation by borrow and hope. Good luck with that.

The Mallard trespass saga continues and clearly Ardern has thrown him under a bus further diminishing the office of Speaker although I find it inconceivable that Mallard did not give her a ‘heads up’ on the proposed action. And now the revelation that all parties in Parliament were consulted over whether ex MPs should be exempted from any trespass action with only ACT saying that they should be. Why ACT thinks ex MPs should be deserving of special treatment over any other people fingered for trespass action fair beats me …. a huge own goal (vomit inducing to parody Tom H’s comment on another thread). There is nothing so ex as an ex MP as I suspect any number of Labour MPs will find out in seventeen months time. Luxon had it exactly right when he said it was time to move on from this and that trespass action should be reserved for those who actually rioted as opposed to the many like King and Peters who protested peacefully.

The Speaker is supposed to have the respect of the House. Mallard has by his many actions forfeited that respect. I know it would be a big call but Labour would be well advised to ‘engineer’ a graceful exit from Parliament for him. As he is a List MP it would be a no fuss exit. Ambassador to Russia …. there’s a thought. He would go down well in Moscow with his bully mates from the Kremlin.

Written by The Veteran

May 5, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Posted in NZ Politics

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So can I ask … where the hell is ‘Jethro’. Didn’t accompany the PM on her trip to S’pore or Japan. MIA for her ANZAC Day speech. The TV work seems to have dried up. Women’s Day/Weekly seems to have gone silent on the wedding.

So many questions, so few answers.

Updated …. I have since been forwarded an article that suggests that CG did go on the trip. Nevertheless, questions remain about his increasingly low profile compared with yesteryear.

Written by The Veteran

May 4, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Posted in NZ Politics

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with 18 comments

Matt King left National to form his own political party. The New Zealand political landscape is littered with the corpses of those who have tried to go it alone and one suspects that MK will soon find himself consigned to the dustbin of history. He will be facing a reinvigorated National Party electorate machine that is establishing new branches (the new Russell Branch is holding its inaugural meeting tonight with two additional branches in the process of forming) and raking in new members and cash. He will have to contend with the simple message that a vote for Matt King is a vote for Willow-Jean Prime … the Labour Party incumbent MP.

But all that aside it is simply wrong that Speaker Mallard has acted to trespass MK from the precincts of Parliament for two years for his part in the protest that took place on Parliament’s grounds. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong but, as I understand it, ex MPs are entitled as of right to dine at Bellamys and enjoy unfettered access to Parliament’s Library facilities for research purposes. So his rights as a former MP have been revoked …. something that didn’t happen to Taito Phillip Field, the disgraced former Labour Party Cabinet Minister, jailed for six years after having been found guilty of bribery and corruption charges as well as 15 counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Clearly one rule for MK and another for Field and we won’t even ask why a certain WRP hasn’t also been trespassed for his actions in joining with the protesters to “encourage them to demand that they be heard”. Clearly double standards rule OK. New Zealand the way you’ve got it.

Updated 12.34 … just announced … Winston Peters has also been trespassed from Parliament … Gueez Wayne, luv him or hate him, this guy was a Deputy Prime Minister and (for a time) Acting Prime Minister. He’s also a Member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council (the Rt Hon bit). There will be repercussions.

Written by The Veteran

May 3, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Posted in NZ Politics

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